INVESTMENT IN PRISONS: AN INVESTMENT IN SOCIAL EXCLUSION? Linking the Theories of Justice Reinvestment and Social Inclusion to Examine Australia’s Propensity to Incarcerate


  • Dr Jill Guthrie
  • Dr Michael Levy
  • Dr Cressida Fforde


Much of the conceptual space occupied by Justice Reinvestment theory suggests clear links with the theoretical framework of Social Inclusion and therein understandings of the social determinants of health. This article seeks to explore this mutually interested and unified relationship, and furthermore examine how their combined adoption in Australia would provide benefits for the general population as well as those in contact with the criminal justice system. Despite the existence of consistently strong links between social disadvantage and imprisonment, it is apparent the social determinants of health have yet to adequately address their implications for incarceration. Forming these links, this article will introduce and explore the notion of the social determinants of incarceration. Moreover, the importance of the social and economic imperatives to be realised through the adoption of Justice Reinvestment ideals will be argued, in turn providing explanation for why the coalescing of Justice Reinvestment and Social Inclusion is fundamentally important to consider. Therefore, we hope to prompt insightful questioning of our current institutional processes such as: Is investment in new prisons really investment in social exclusion?